Dinner at Per Se With salesforce.com’s Marc Benioff

June 3, 2009
73 Views

When the invitation came to join salesforce.com’s Marc Benioff for dinner at Per Se, the immediate answer was “yes” for two reasons: the company and the locale.

The last salesforce.com dinner was in December at Tao. Marc had assembled a very interesting collection of customers and prospects, journalists and analysts, and friends. The latter include Robert Thurman, professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, co-founder and president of Tibet House US, and author of several books, including “Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet and the World.” He’s also Uma’s dad. Oh, and Michael Dell showed up near the end, too.

Last night’s gathering shared a similar eclectic nature. Once again, there were customers and prospects, a handful of journalists, and a surprise guest. Though I didn’t get a chance to talk to him, James Surowiecki, author of “The Wisdom of Crowds” sat across the large table from me.

As for the restaurant, Per Se is the newest creation of chef Thomas Keller, best-known for The French Laundry in Napa Valley. Per Se is located on the fourth floor of the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. The event started with .

When the invitation came to join salesforce.com’s Marc Benioff for dinner at Per Se, the immediate answer was “yes” for two reasons: the company and the locale.

The last salesforce.com dinner was in December at Tao. Marc had assembled a very interesting collection of customers and prospects, journalists and analysts, and friends. The latter include Robert Thurman, professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, co-founder and president of Tibet House US, and author of several books, including “Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet and the World.” He’s also Uma’s dad. Oh, and Michael Dell showed up near the end, too.

Last night’s gathering shared a similar eclectic nature. Once again, there were customers and prospects, a handful of journalists, and a surprise guest. Though I didn’t get a chance to talk to him, James Surowiecki, author of “The Wisdom of Crowds” sat across the large table from me.

As for the restaurant, Per Se is the newest creation of chef Thomas Keller, best-known for The French Laundry in Napa Valley. Per Se is located on the fourth floor of the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. The event started with passed trays of duck pastrami and salmon ice cream cones, and took off from there. Incredible.

It was also nice to spend time with salesforce.com customers. I asked one whether he thought salesforce.com should move into other applications such as HCM. His reply surprised me. He said that he would prefer that Marc spend less time on applications and more time on completing the platform. He has four business analysts using Force.com to complete a wide array of custom applications. Not one of them has a formal development background.

I listened as another customer quizzed a salesforce.com exec about project management. In turns out that salesforce.com has a lot of internally developed applications that have yet to make it to the AppExchange. This is a nice marketing challenge to have.

On the way out as I thanked Marc we talked about these events. The only obvious marketing was the Per Se bag offered to each guest. Inside was a copy of Marc’s book, “The Business of Changing the World,” two desserts wrapped with a Per Se ribbon and a salesforce.com tag, and the menu. Marc said he put these together for “the conversations.” It worked. Guests will be talking about that dinner for a long time. And hungry readers will be angling for an invite to the next one.

You may be interested

How SAP Hana is Driving Big Data Startups
Big Data
298 shares3,139 views
Big Data
298 shares3,139 views

How SAP Hana is Driving Big Data Startups

Ryan Kh - July 20, 2017

The first version of SAP Hana was released in 2010, before Hadoop and other big data extraction tools were introduced.…

Data Erasing Software vs Physical Destruction: Sustainable Way of Data Deletion
Data Management
120 views
Data Management
120 views

Data Erasing Software vs Physical Destruction: Sustainable Way of Data Deletion

Manish Bhickta - July 20, 2017

Physical Data destruction techniques are efficient enough to destroy data, but they can never be considered eco-friendly. On the other…

10 Simple Rules for Creating a Good Data Management Plan
Data Management
69 shares689 views
Data Management
69 shares689 views

10 Simple Rules for Creating a Good Data Management Plan

GloriaKopp - July 20, 2017

Part of business planning is arranging how data will be used in the development of a project. This is why…